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2021 was a marvelous year in many ways and we have seen cryptocurrencies rise to unprecedented levels both in price and popularity – and the places on the list of the richest people in crypto saw movement too.

Although groundwork has been ongoing for several years last year digital currencies and ICOs have become a hot topic of discussions among everyone. Such is the popularity of cryptocurrencies these days that Bitcoin has become a household buzzword and suddenly centuries-old banking and securities systems felt genuine existential threat, at least from the way bankers reacted.

There were multiple attempts in the past to create digital currencies which failed miserably but provided important lessons and learning for Bitcoin. It was only in the year 2009 when Bitcoin came into real existence, that digital currency started appearing in news and people started taking a real interest.

Read also: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Gradually, Bitcoin became the new gold for investors and became a global phenomenon. Bitcoin success was so huge and so fast, in just a few years it galvanized the whole blockchain industry with hundreds of cryptocurrencies trading on multiple exchanges. Right now there are 897 active currencies with a total market capitalization of over $571 million. Just a few weeks back $1 trillion market cap was looking like a trivial thing.

Almost all digital currencies have provided multifold returns but five cryptocurrencies, in particular; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash have made their founders extremely rich in a very short span of time. We here at Coinful have tried to compile a list of the richest people in crypto but since cryptocurrencies transactions are anonymous it is quite difficult to determine the exact figures. Below we enlist the names of these very fortunate personalities and their fortunes.

The world’s richest people in Crypto are:

  1. Chris Larsen
  2. Satoshi Nakamoto
  3. Jed McCaleb
  4. Brad Garlinhouse
  5. The Winklevoss Twins
  6. Vitalik Buterin
  7. Barry Silbert
  8. Timothy Cook Draper
  9. Tony Galippi

Chris Larsen (Co-founder of RIPPLE)

Chris Larsen is co-founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency company Ripple and one of the richest people in crypto. In total there are 100 billion XRP tokens and this fortunate co-founder possesses approximately 5.19 billion of them. In addition, he also holds a 17% share in Ripple company. Ripple company holds a whopping 61 billion tokens that means he is the owner of another 10.37 billion tokens. In totality, he has around 15.56 billion XRPs. At today’s exchange rate of $1.2 per XRP, Chris Larsen’s total worth is approximately $18.67 Billion.

In Jan 2018 Ripple’s price reached an all-time high of $3.84. With a total market cap of $120 billion, it replaced Ethereum from Rank #2 on market cap charts. During the same time, although for a short time Chris Larsen became the 5th wealthiest person in the world replacing Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook Founder).

  • Nationality: American
  • Token: XRP
  • Token Value: $1.2
  • Total Tokens: 15.56 Billion
  • Total Crypto Worth: $18.67 Billion
  • Occupation: Angel investor
Chris Larsen (Co-founder of RIPPLE)
Chris Larsen (Co-founder of RIPPLE)

Satoshi Nakamoto (BITCOIN founder)

In simple terms, Bitcoin is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for an individual person or a group of people. After inventing Bitcoin with a 2008 white paper describing Bitcoin digital currency, Nakamoto retreated from public life and became an anonymous shadow. At one time this unknown shadow might have mined over 1 million Bitcoins, during the first year when the original Bitcoin code was released. That represents a meager 5.8% of all Bitcoins currently in existence but at the current Bitcoin price, his total worth is around $12 billion. At one time when Bitcoin price peaked at $60,000, Satoshi Nakamoto was the 44th richest person in the world.

Later on, Bitcoin was forked into Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) which gives Satoshi Nakamoto another 1 million BCH and 1 million BTG. With forking, Nakamoto’s reserves added a whopping $1.6 billion to the total reserves.

  • Nationality: Unknown (Assumed to be Japanese)
  • Token: BTC
  • Token Value: $60,000
  • Total Tokens: 1 Million
  • Total Crypto Worth: $60 Billion
  • Occupation: Unknown

Jed McCaleb (Co-founder of RIPPLE)

Jed McCaleb is the third co-founder of Ripple and one of the richest people in crypto. He originally held 7.3 billion XRP, of which he donated some for charity. At present, he is still in possession of almost 5.3 billion XRP. Although he owns 5.3 billion XRP due to an agreement with Ripple he cannot sell more than 1% of the average daily volume on any single exchange.

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In January 2018 McCaleb’s XRP ownership made him the world’s 40th richest person with a total worth of $20 billion. In 2013, Jed McCaleb parted from Ripple and founded Stellar which is currently the strongest competitor to Ripple. On top of that, he also founded the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox (now defunct) which he later sold to Mark Karpeles for a killing.

  • Nationality: American
  • Token: XRP
  • Token Value: $1.2
  • Total Tokens: 5.3 Billion
  • Total Worth: $6.36 Billion (excluding Stellar and Mt. Gox riches)
  • Occupation: CTO, Stellar.org
Jed McCaleb (Co-founder of RIPPLE)
Jed McCaleb (Co-founder of RIPPLE)

Brad Garlinghouse (CEO of RIPPLE)

According to trusted sources, current Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse owns a 6.3% stake in Ripple and might own additional XRP tokens adding him to the list of the richest people in crypto. Ripple company possesses 61 Billion XRP tokens, so Brad has around 3.84 billion tokens. With a current price of $1.2, his net worth is at least $4.6 billion.

  • Nationality: American
  • Token: XRP
  • Token Value: $1.2
  • Total Tokens: 3.84 Billion
  • Total Crypto Worth: $4.6 Billion
  • Occupation: CEO (Ripple) and Angel Investor

The Winklevoss Twins (Co-founded CONNECTU, GEMINI EXCHANGE)

Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss brothers are well known for co-founding HarvardConnection which was later renamed ConnectU. Winklevoss Twins came to the limelight when they received $65 million after they sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their social networking idea. In April 2013, the two brothers invested $11 million in Bitcoin priced at around $120 a coin with 92000 Bitcoins in their wallets. Later they claimed to have accumulated around 1% of all the Bitcoins in existence. Their net worth is easily above $1 billion making them Bitcoin billionaires. In 2015, both brothers also founded Gemini, a digital currency exchange where you can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum.

  • Nationality: American
  • Token: BTC
  • Token Value: $60,000
  • Total Tokens: 92000
  • Total Worth: $5 Billion
  • Occupation: Venture Capitalist
The Winklevoss Twins
The Winklevoss Twins

Vitalik Buterin (Co-founder of ETHEREUM)

Vitalik Buterin, just 23, is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known for co-founding Ethereum. Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contracts functionality that facilitates the creation of new cryptocurrencies. Back in 2016, Buterin had roughly around 630,000 ethers. He has already spent 25% of Ether from his personal wallet. At the moment, Buterin has approximately 472,000 ETH worth $460 million making him the youngest crypto millionaire. Buterin, a born genius is just 23 and currently on the advisory board of OmiseGo, Kyber Network, and WeTrust companies.

  • Nationality: Russian/Canadian
  • Token: ETH
  • Token Value: $3,700
  • Total Tokens: 472,500
  • Total Crypto Worth: $1.7 Billion
  • Occupation: Co-Founder/Advisor/Programmer
Vitalik Buterin (Co-founder of ETHEREUM)
Vitalik Buterin (Co-founder of ETHEREUM)

Barry Silbert (Founder and CEO of DIGITAL CURRENCY GROUP)

Barry Silbert is the Founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, a company helping to build the foundation of the digital currency and blockchain technology industry by launching, incubating, and investing in groundbreaking companies that will transform the global financial services ecosystem and usher in the “internet of value”. Silbert, a venture capitalist was an early proponent of Bitcoin as he fully understood the potential of blockchain technology. In 2014, he reportedly purchased 48,000 Bitcoins in an auction held by the U.S. Marshals Service. This govt. Auctions consist of all the Bitcoins seized from Silk Road’s dark web market raid. By the current $12,000 value of Bitcoin, his crypto worth is easily around $576 million. He is also known to have invested in Coinbase and Ripple.

  • Nationality: American
  • Token: BTC
  • Token Value: $60,000
  • Total Tokens: 48000
  • Total Worth: $3 Billion
  • Occupation: CEO, Digital Currency Group
Barry Silbert (Founder and CEO of DIGITAL CURRENCY GROUP)
Barry Silbert (Founder and CEO of DIGITAL CURRENCY GROUP)

Timothy Cook Draper (FOUNDER, DFJ)

Timothy Draper is a venture capitalist and his love for Bitcoin made him jump into the purchase of nearly 30,000 Bitcoins in a 2014 government auction of Bitcoins, seized from Silk Road raid. The total Bitcoin investment at the time was estimated to be worth $19 million. Since Bitcoin price has skyrocketed after that his total crypto worth will comfortably land around $360 million.

  • Nationality: American
  • Token: BTC
  • Token Value: $60,000
  • Total Tokens: 30,000
  • Total Worth: $1.8 Billion
  • Occupation: Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)

Tony Gallippi (CO-FOUNDER, BITPAY)

Gallippi is the co-founder and chairman of Bitpay, the largest Bitcoin checkout processor in the world, and is said to be among the largest holders of the currency. While he has refrained to disclose the exact value of his Bitcoin investments, analysts have put it around $20 million.

  • Nationality: American
  • Token: BTC
  • Token Value: $60,000
  • Total Tokens: Not Available
  • Total Worth: $20 million
  • Occupation: Chairman, BitPay

Of course, the above list is not an exhaustive one and it is possible there are many more rich people as the cryptocurrencies world is so anonymous. Experts believe there are at least a dozen of Bitcoin Billionaires and 100s of Bitcoin millionaires.

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